BWW Review: Center Rep Presents Its Magical A CHRISTMAS CAROL For One Week Only
If Christmas is the season of wonder, A Christmas Carol at Center Rep is its chief proprietor. No doubt, the Ghost of Christmas Present must sprinkle his blessing over each delightful performance. Center Rep, which performs Christmas Carol for just over a week every December, fills this holiday tradition with wonders both technical and simple.
Technical and simple are not words often spoken together, but here they are, nonetheless working together. In its simplistic story telling, this Christmas Carol has a natural flow. An anonymous narrator embodies the spirit of Charles Dickens, and a quartet of carolers (Alex Moore, Barbara Reynolds, Molly Thornton and Larry Tom) sway the mood of each scene as the spirits of Christmas teach Scrooge love for his fellow man. The bonds displayed by the Cratchit family and the joy of the ensemble are deeply felt in the smart and often humorous script. Especially of note is the very tiny, Tiny Tim, a resilient Brayden Bautista Toy, who slipped and tumbled down some steps on opening night, only to get back up again and run happy circles around Scrooge.
Then there are the technical surprises that Center Rep employs for each spirit's visit to the penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Ray Wise, who previously played the Ghost of Christmas Present). Director Scott Denison, Scenic Designer Kelly Tighe, Lighting Designer John Iarla, Costume Designer Bethany Deal, and others make precise and calculated use of special effects and aesthetics. Those include trapped doors, moving projections, flying, black lights, confetti, and, of course, snow. The production will make any adult feel like a child again and ready her to declare, "God bless us, everyone."
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Center Rep at the Lesher Center
Through December 18
Photo Credit: Kevin Berne